Friday, April 20, 2007

Jean




A little over a month ago, I wrote a bit about my paternal grandmother, some of her story, and some of how I felt about her.

Well, today it's my other grandmother's turn.

I was born on the wedding anniversary of my maternal grandparents. I'm the second oldest grandchild on that side of the family, so, I was kind of spoiled for a few years there. My Grandma Willis was great to pretty much all of her (33 I think) grandchildren though. I remember how she and my grandpa would travel down to Southern Utah at least once per year, and spend a week or so in our house. If it was winter time, she would take my little brother and me outside and pull us up and down the neighborhood streets on our sled. I remember how neat I thought that was, to just be able to ride all the time, and not have to get up and walk with the sled up the hill to start another ride.

When I got older and started participating in my high school choirs and track & cross-country teams, my grandparents would come see me anytime I was doing anything in the Salt Lake area. That was always very special for me as well. Even when I got a lot older, and probably didn't need the support as much as I had when I was younger, they still gave it to me in buckets. I still remember the time they came to the Assembly Hall to hear me sing with an Institute Choir. I was one of about 150 voices, didn't have a solo or featured part or anything, just singing a bunch of songs. I was at least 24 years old at that point, and this concert really wasn't all that important or memorable to me at the time. It's memorable to me now though, because my grandparents came to support me in it.

My grandpa passed away a few years before my grandmother, and by the time he did, I was living in Northern Utah, much closer to Salt Lake City. During those "widow years", I would often travel down to Salt Lake and spend a night or a weekend at grandma's house. Also, if there was every any family event going on in Cedar City, I would pick up grandma on my way down, and we'd make the trip down together. At times I wasn't all that pleased with this arrangement, for the simple fact that I couldn't drive as fast with grandma looking over my shoulder at the speedometer as I could when I was alone. However, now I count those times on Interstate 15 as some of the most treasured memories I have.

To sum up, my Grandma Willis and I became pretty good friends over the course of the 30 years we had together. Ours was a relationship that was very special to me. So special that there were several times during the course of my engagement that I would catch myself wishing that somehow I could have met and married Eric while she was still alive--just so she would be able to be there with us.

Funny thing though. For those of you who aren't familiar with LDS temple sealings, there's always a temple worker, a woman who is assigned to help the couple through the process, leading them to the different rooms where they need to go, making sure that they are where they need to be at the time that they need to be there. I think she's also probably there to keep the bride and the groom from getting too anxious or nervous about the fact that they are about to change their lives forever.

Well, Eric and I were fortunate to have a lovely, kind, gentle woman assigned to us. She was about 5' 4", with silver white hair, lovely eyes, and a very sweet smile and voice. She was calming and so very helpful. I felt completely at peace as I was able to follow her around with my Eric.

I'd never met her before that day, and I'll be kind of surprised if I ever meet her again. But, guess what her name was . . .

Jeanine Willis

You can believe what you want, but I will never be convinced that it was a coincidence. I was lead through my temple sealing by a woman whose name was almost exactly the same as my grandmother's.

Sometimes I think we convince ourselves that God is only involved in the big events of our lives, that He only "checks in" when we are in dire need or headed for disaster or something. I think we are wrong when we think that way. I think God is involved in our day-to-day lives, every single day. I think He delights to bless us in many varied ways. And I think He knew just the perfect way to add a little bit of extra "special-ness" to what turned out to be my most special day ever.

That's what I think.

2 comments:

Jeri said...

Absolutely a "tender mercy" of the Lord. Just wonderful, thanks for sharing.

melissa c said...

beautiful. I sure miss my grandmothers

There is something about that connection we share as women generation after generation.

I think they stay with us to guide us and help out in our lives.

At least I like to think they do.

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